lanaayz asks:

observation of Intensive Learning Support classes in Middle school

I have an appointment scheduled for observation of Intensive Learning Support classes in Middle School for my child for next year.
What questions should I ask? What to look for?
In Topics: School and Academics, Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago



Feb 21, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Here are some questions you could ask:

How was my child selected to get into this program?
Are all the students selected using the same criteria?
What are the benefits?
How will my child's schedule be altered?
How long is each class?
How long will he be in the program?
What is the exit plan?
How many students will be in the class?
Will this effect his electives?
What program/materials will be used?
What is the success rate of students in the program? (How long does it take them to read on grade level?)
What can I do at home to help support the program?
Do you offer workshops or meeting for parents to help their child?
How will my child's learning be monitored?
How will my child be assessed?
Will my child receive an special accommodation on state tests - such as extra time?
What it is the make up of the class?

When you are taking the tour, be sure to see the class in action.  Watch to see how:
the teacher interacts with the students
students interact with other students
any misbehavior is corrected or handled
respond to lessons/activities

Hope this helps.

Good luck,
Barb K

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Additional Answers (2)

lanaayz writes:
Thanks a lot for the guidance and complete list of questions to be asked and observation points to pay attention to.
Can I request to see the IEP (name removed) example of the student with LD profile similar to my child from 1st, 2nd year in the program?
Unfortunately, based on our experience, what provided as an answer or recommendation, recorder differently or incomplete on IEP, and then the IEP SDIs are implemented irregularly and what was not "spelled out", but implied based on IEP meeting and teacher conference / e-mail communications are implemented or not at teacher will.

Thanks for your help.
> 60 days ago

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BarbK , Teacher writes:
IEP and any other type of paper work that is filled out at those meetings don't always match up with what actually happens.  

There is some good news - your are an involved parent who knows what you want and aren't afraid to speak your mind.  Often in cases like this, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.  

When you attend a meeting ask if you can record the session.  This can be a reminder to the school when they don't follow through on anything.  But be sure to ask.  I would also take my own notes.  Make a list of what they say is going to be done and have them sign off on it, just like you sign off of their paper work.  You can ask to see a sample of an IEP, but I'm not sure they will share any student's paper work even with the names crossed out.  Even though the official IEP meeting is yearly (and is some states every other year) ask them when you can come back for a follow up.  

If your child doesn't get the services needed, keep track of them in a journal.  For example say your child has an aide and the school pull the aide to do something else on a given day.  Write down the date and the reason for pulling the aide.  Also if your child had any problems because of the aide absence.

If your child is to get special accommodations during state tests, go in a few weeks before the testing to make sure everything is in place.

Also, it does help if you are involved in school activities such as PTA or volunteer from time to time.  If you show your support for the school, they are often more likely to be supportive of your child.

I wish you all the best of luck, your child is lucky to have you on his/her side.  Feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions.

Barb K
> 60 days ago

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